Revisiting Darwin's comparisons between human and non-human primate facial signals

Kavanagh, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-7202-005X, Kimock, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-9560-7427, Whitehouse, J. ORCID: 0000-0003-2607-5492, Micheletta, J. and Waller, B.M. ORCID: 0000-0001-6303-7458, 2022. Revisiting Darwin's comparisons between human and non-human primate facial signals. Evolutionary Human Sciences, 4: e27. ISSN 2513-843X

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Darwin and other pioneering scholars made comparisons between human facial signals and those of non-human primates, suggesting that they share evolutionary history. We now have tools available (the Facial Action Coding System) to make these comparisons anatomically based and standardised, as well as analytical methods to facilitate comparative studies. Here we review the evidence establishing a shared anatomical basis between the facial behaviour of human and non-human primate species, concluding which signals are probably related, and which are not. We then review the evidence for shared function and discuss the implications for understanding human communication. Where differences between humans and other species exist, we explore possible explanations and future directions for enquiry.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Evolutionary Human Sciences
Creators: Kavanagh, E., Kimock, C., Whitehouse, J., Micheletta, J. and Waller, B.M.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Date: 2022
Volume: 4
ISSN: 2513-843X
Rights: Copyright © the author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 14 Dec 2022 14:41
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2023 11:37

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